ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday said that peace and development were linked and Pakistan could not move ahead without political stability and continuity of policies.
The minister was speaking at a seminar on “Disparities in Police System in Provinces and Federal Capital” organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
The minister said that Pakistan had been facing an uncertain situation for the last 70 years.
He said that in 2013, Newsweek declared that the most dangerous country in the world was not Iraq but Pakistan.
In 2017, the situation changed and Pakistan was declared one of the fastest growing economies in the world, he added.
The minister said, “Better policing is needed for the implementation of development projects and to help people in positive contribution towards the progress of the country.”
“Police hold the key to stability and development,” he said.
He said that police should be citizen friendly and play a leadership role in communities.
“Police should be a source of strength for the weak,” he said.
Ahsan Iqbal said that police reforms could not be successful without taking all stakeholders on board. If there was uncertainty in the country, reforms could not be undertaken in any sphere of life, he added.
He said that one reason for the lack of reforms in the police was the differences between different stakeholders.
He appreciated the sacrifices of personnel of armed forces and police and said that the forces remained in the forefront in the battle against terrorism.
He said that a unit of anti-riot police was trained for Islamabad, adding that a 500-member counter-terrorism police force was also established.
The minister said that role of individuals was important in creating effective institutions.
He said the government was in contact with foreign governments to arrange training sessions for the police.
He further said that a project was underway to set up 22 model police stations in Islamabad.
Ahsan said that human systems were organic in nature and change did not come at once but with sustained efforts spread over years.
“According to the experiences of developed countries, change comes gradually with constant training and change in old habits,” he said, “If we want to reform, we must give up our old habits and adopt new habits.”
SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Suleri, Dr Shoaib Suddle, Lt Gen(R) Moinuddin Haider, Humaira Masiuddin and others spoke on the occasion and highlighted different aspects of police laws and reforms undertaken in the past.